When many people first enter the weight room, building leg muscle is the last thing on their minds. The initial pull for most is to gain some weight, and build big arms, and maybe develop a big chest. Less prominent body parts such as back, shoulders, and particularly legs, are often neglected for years, or forever. We see plenty of people in the gym who have never trained legs, with great arms, for example.
As the lifter become a more experienced and well-rounded athlete, he often finds himself looking to develop the body fully. After all, the sport is called body BUILDING, which translates to the simple fact that you have to build up the entire body – not just those body parts that look good in a tank top. So while no girl is every going to ask us to “flex our quads”, it is essential, for full body development, to train the legs.
Building leg muscle is just like building any other muscle of the body. You have to use heavy, compound movements to build up the initial muscle mass, and then follow up these heavy movements with lighter isolation movements designed to etch some detail into the muscle groups. This gives you a solid foundation of muscle, along with the shape and form that equates to complete development. There’s nothing at all attractive about big, bulky uncut legs, and there isn’t much strength in highly toned legs without any real muscle to them.
There are three sections of the legs which must be trained. The first, and most obvious, are called the quadriceps. These are the upper front thighs which are hit with movements such as squats, leg press, and hack squat. These heavy movements should be first to build up thigh mass, then followed with leg extensions to bring out detail in this muscle group. The next muscle group is the hamstrings, located on the back of the upper thigh. Stiff-legged deadlifts add mass to this muscle group, and lying and seated leg curls allow the lifter to bring detail out of the hamstrings. Finally, the calves are hit with any movement – machine, barbell, dumbbell, or without weight – in which the toes move from an elevated to de-elevated position. Seated toe raises and standing Smith machine raises are best. The glutes, or ‘butt’ muscles of the body, can never be overlooked. However, they are usually adequately trained when the quads and hamstrings are trained.
Building leg muscle isn’t hard if you train hard, and consistently, using a variety of rep and set ranges. Your diet must include plenty of clean protein and carbohydrate sources. You should be sleeping eight hours per night to ensure your body has adequate time to recover from your tough workouts. An hour nap each day will benefit recovery even better. Take multi-vitamins and supplement with flax seed oil to ensure your body has all the micronutrients needed for growth. Above all, keep a positive mental attitude and just keep training for consistency! Over time, the gains will come!
Dane Fletcher is the world-wide authority on training, nutrition, and supplements. To build muscle fast, he recommends the world class steroid alternatives from GetAnabolics.com instead of illegal anabolics.
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